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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Summer Art Camp Session a Glass Act

Summer Art Camp Session a Glass Act:
Westport Arts Center offers painting 
through printmaking
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Westport News)

Westport, CT – You might call the end-products windows on the world given the raw material being used was plexiglass and the subject matter painted on it could be anything from around the globe.

Painting on glass was the focus of Day One of “From Painting to Printmaking”, a Summer Art Camp held August 15th through 19th at Westport Arts Center, the non-profit arts organization at 51 Riverside Avenue. Over a dozen children, ages 9 to 12, participated in the session. Education programs are sponsored by retailer Melissa & Doug.

“The program was spurred by students who have taken programs at the Center for the past several years, that are now reaching an older age group and want to continue on at WAC,” said Danielle Ogden, director of education at the facility. “This program is specifically designed to reach that group – ages nine to 12. A majority of our art classes have been for the six to nine age set – this provides continuity to that end.”

Referencing colleague Jessica Jane Lynch, a mixed media artist for the Society’s summer camps and after-school program, Ogden said, “Jess has designed a range of projects that combine a wide spectrum of materials, introduce students to famous and local artists and provide students with guidance in technique.”

“We could do any design,” said 10-year-old Westporter Abby Genser, about the glass painting activity. “I decided to do something colorful with shapes,” she said, about her artwork that resulted from the class.

Nearby, classmate Jill Gault showed off a sea scene with a sailboat. “I made this because my grandparents have a house in Seabright on the Jersey shore and in front of their houses are sailboats. I made this for them,” she said proudly, holding up her square of glass.

Anna Greenspan was marking her 11th birthday with the class and said it was a fun way to celebrate. She had painting iconic cartoon character Snoopy on her glass. “I really like him,” she said, “and I’m going to hang this in my room.”

Taking a cue from splatter artist Jackson Pollock, 11-year-old Westporter Abby Najarian did a design using the splatter technique. Najarian actually encouraged WAC to specifically incorporate glass painting into the summer camp. “I’ve been wanting to paint on plexiglass for a long time.”

Najarian’s pal, Ella Jarvis, also 11 and a fellow Westport resident, said a lot of brain energy went into arriving at her design. “I thought a lot about what I was going to paint, then put my paintbrush down and just let it go wherever it wanted to go,” she said. “This is a really fun way to spend a day and the teachers are great. It’s not like school art class where you just have to do one thing. The teachers let you go wacky with your art. Get it? Wacky, as in WAC, Westport Arts Center?” she giggled, amused by her pun.

On the camp activity agenda for the balance of the week was: outdoor painting, a riverside walk with input about local history, landscape painting, splatter exercises, painting on long wood panels and monotype printmaking.

“Everything we do at WAC is designed to make young people feel inspired and create opportunities for them to experiment, create and have fun,” summed up instructor Lynch.

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